David Beckham — New Goal: Ending Child Poverty

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Former Manchester United star and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador David Beckham has appealed for the world to get moving on child poverty during a 4 day visit to Sierra Leone — where 27 per cent of children die before they reach five (in a country rebuilding after years of civil war). Dad-of-three Becks can be seen in a YouTube video here, visiting health clinics and feeding centres. “It’s shocking and tragic, especially when the solutions are simple”, he said.

And undernourished mothers produce weak children: with poverty being transmitted across the generations (check out CPRC policy briefs and CHIP).

Becks was appointed a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in 2005. You can see a video of him discussing his role here. He was inspired by UNICEF’s rapid action in dealing with the Asian Tsunami disaster, as well as his involvement with the United for UNICEF programme (under which Manchester United has raised £ 2 million since 1999).

Becks also took time out to kick a ball around with some of the locals (go here). Manchester United has a keen following in West Africa, recently boosted by signing Angolan forward Manucho who joins after the Africa Cup of Nations. Three United Stars — Ryan Giggs, Rio Ferdinand, and Patrice Evra (born in Senegal) — feature in UNICEF AIDS-awareness posters in Sierra Leone (go here).

Meanwhile, Posh and the Spice Girls play Manchester …….

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